TACOMA, Wash. - A 35-year-old woman was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly neglecting her dogs found in the bathroom of her Steilacoom home, said the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
According to the attorney’s office, a Lakewood Animal Control officer responded to Kim Olander’s home in January to perform an animal welfare check after they were informed about a complaint.
When Olander let the officer inside, the officer saw three healthy dogs, but Olander informed the officer she owned two additional dogs that were in the bathroom. She said she detained the dogs in the bathroom because of construction workers at her home.
The officer entered the urine-soaked bathroom and found two dogs inside.
The attorney’s office said one dog was thin and the other was severely emaciated.
Olander explained that the two dogs had been sick for about a month, and admitted that she had not taken them to a veterinarian. She surrendered the two dogs.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Kevin McCarty spoke with Olander’s former father-in-law, Dan Parker, who said Olander loves her pets and takes good care of them.
“She thought she was taking good care of them because she takes care of her other animals just fine,” said Parker. “I was aware that one was sick and she didn’t have enough money to take it to the vet, so she was d0ing the best she could on her own.”
The dogs were taken to the Humane Society to be checked out. The condition of the emaciated dog was most likely related to starvation, but after a week of care, the dog gained 11 pounds and appeared to be in normal condition.
“Animal cruelty laws were written to hold people accountable for crimes such as this,” said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “When defenseless animals are victimized, we prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent under the law.”
According to the attorney’s office, Olander failed to appear in court Wednesday and was arrested on a warrant. She pleaded not guilty. Her next court appearance is March 7.